Whether you are actively job hunting now or thinking about your long term career goals or even about your future self, your happiness, contentment etc, it may be helpful to think about a ‘professional objective’. A professional objective, like any objective is way to keep you focused on an outcome you want or need. At the same time it can be helpful to be aware of multiple objectives and options available to you in your career and your life. In many cases, especially if you are out of work, then your professional objective is to get a job, not necessarily the ‘perfect job’, but a ‘job right now’. Whilst life coaches, gurus etc often talk about work-life balance, work that fulfills etc, it is difficult to be happy if your monthly living expenses are not covered. So if needs must, focus on that! With that in mind, it can be helpful to think about and even write down some examples of these four different types of professional objectives:
- The Obvious: these are opportunities that are closest to your previous experience and current capabilities. If you are out of work then these will likely be the quickest to achieve! Remember its much easier to job hunt when you have some degree of financial security. Even if you are in work, then obvious jobs can be similar to your current one, but perhaps in a different industry, with better pay or slightly more senior and/or with line management responsibility. If you need to build up your experience obvious objectives can be a good option.
- The Ambitious: similar to the obvious but with a bigger jump in terms of pay and responsibility. Possibly you will need persuade your new employer to take a chance on you and convince them that you have potential to grow into the role.
- The Pivot: this is something new. This may require additional training or education. One way to do this can be to return to a former employer, where you are known and well-liked but re-enter as this new version of you!
- The Dream: this is what, without any other limitations, restraints etc that you would ideally do. This should in your mind at least still be possible. Albeit, you may need to get training, more experience and very possibly benefit from some good luck, but it is something you can gradually be working towards. This may not be possible right now, so you may need to focus on another option now, but keep plugging away in the background on your dream objective.
For more on professional objectives, you may want to read: The Squiggly Career by Helen Tupper & Sarah Ellis
The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search by Orville Pierson